Ten Tips for a Successful DAM Migration

By Julia Thompson

Congratulations – you’ve made it through hard work of selecting a shiny, powerful new DAM system, and all hands are on deck working on its configuration and roll out. However, you also know there is one additional challenge lurking behind the scenes, one that is critical to successful implementation and user adoption – content migration. How will you get all the valuable assets and metadata from your existing tools into the new one? Never fear – these tips from our DAM experts will help the process to go smoothly:  

  1. Time – Be generous when estimating time for migration, including data preparation, in your project plan: these activities usually take longer and can be more complex than expected.
  2. Owners and Doers - Consider which stakeholders should be involved, and secure the support that you may need, including developers to help with data transformation, and migration business analysts to create mapping and data transformation rules.
  3. Technical Requirements - Find out early from your system vendor or IT department what the data and asset preparation requirements are and what the migration process will be.
  4. Compliance - Consult your records management and legal departments. There may be particular retention rules to follow or they may need to sign off on the migration plan for tracking what is kept where.
  5. Clean House - Consider what fields, values and assets really will be of value in the future state. You may not need to migrate everything.
  6. …But Don’t Overdo It - Don’t forget to consider metadata related to asset access and restrictions, important asset collections and relationships, and “legacy” metadata fields and values that may be useful for reference or relevant only to older assets.
  7. Avoid “Garbage In, Garbage Out” - Take the time to clean up messy and inconsistent metadata before migration. Cleanup is usually easier at this stage and you’ll avoid migrating the search problems of your old system to your new system.
  8. Automate, Automate, Automate - Avoid manual data transformation and cleanup where possible. Use scripts and/or software to automate the process. The upfront investment is typically worth it in the long term.
  9. Document - Thoroughly document the migration process, including why particular decisions were made and nuances solved for along the way.
  10. Pilot, Test and Re-test - Despite careful mapping and clear rules for data transformation, your migration may not go perfectly the first time, and data loss is a very real risk.

Optimity Advisors can support you through every step of the migration and beyond, from selecting a new DAM system, to planning data and asset migration into the new system, and on to creating strategies for user adoption and governance.

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